Customer Reviews


96 Reviews
5 star:
 (48)
4 star:
 (25)
3 star:
 (14)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


146 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading
Despite an intriguing premise I was a little bit dubious as to how two sets of characters divided by a century might gel to a satisfactory conclusion. I need not have worried.

The story tracks the fortunes of Mel Pentreath, a lecturer who takes a sabbatical from her job in London to go to write and heal her emotional wounds in Cornwall.

A love story...
Published on 16 Oct 2007 by B4 member

versus
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A light holiday novel.....
I chose this Rachel Hore book as I thoroughly enjoyed The Glass Painter's Daughter. The plot and sub-plot in both stories describe contrasting lifestyles and the links between the past and the present.

Her research on the Newlyn and Lamorna artists is excellent, as are the lyrical, evocative descriptions of Cornwall. However, The Memory Garden does not flow...
Published on 13 Feb 2011 by Songbird


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

146 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, 16 Oct 2007
This review is from: The Memory Garden (Paperback)
Despite an intriguing premise I was a little bit dubious as to how two sets of characters divided by a century might gel to a satisfactory conclusion. I need not have worried.

The story tracks the fortunes of Mel Pentreath, a lecturer who takes a sabbatical from her job in London to go to write and heal her emotional wounds in Cornwall.

A love story at its best. As a reader I found myself captivated by the story to find who, if anyone would win Mel's heart as she finds herself confronted with potential male suitors - both past and present. The story of Pearl, set one hundred years earlier is equally enchanting.

A fantastic read, great characterisation, truly unputdownable. One of those books that stays with you long after you finish reading it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A light holiday novel....., 13 Feb 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Memory Garden (Paperback)
I chose this Rachel Hore book as I thoroughly enjoyed The Glass Painter's Daughter. The plot and sub-plot in both stories describe contrasting lifestyles and the links between the past and the present.

Her research on the Newlyn and Lamorna artists is excellent, as are the lyrical, evocative descriptions of Cornwall. However, The Memory Garden does not flow in as interesting and captivating way as The Glass Painter's Daughter. I felt that it had perhaps been "padded out" in places, with a few too many superfluous characters and would have been improved by losing around a quarter of it's length.

The main character, Mel, is eclipsed by her counterpart in the past scenes, Pearl - who is a far stronger characterisation. Mel is annoyingly indecisive...it takes until the end of the book for her to make up her mind about what she really wants...but I guess, that's life! There is a recurring theme concerning men who run from emotional commitment (Mr "Right-out-here"s), and women who strive for professional and personal recognition.

I enjoyed the best - the parts of the book where Patrick (main love interest) and Mel gradually uncover the "lost garden" - echoes of Heligan here. The juxtaposition of the two storylines converge in special parts of the garden - a clever construct.

The early 1900s story has pathos, romance and tragedy. The modern story didn't quite balance this, even though it was a valiant attempt.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ok, 6 Oct 2009
This review is from: The Memory Garden (Paperback)
I chose this book on an amazon recommendation.....whilst a good try...it is not a house at riverton or the forgotton garden by Kate Morton.....her books are obviously quite difficult an act to follow!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Light Read, 2 April 2009
By 
N. Folkard "Natashabookworm" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Memory Garden (Paperback)
I would recommend this as a light, romantic read (somthing which i was not expecting when i purchsed the book). It tells great tales of the past and was read within merely a few days.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth reading, 11 Jan 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Memory Garden (Paperback)
A novel filled with so many clichés and banalities and awful metaphors that it's almost funny. The story may be good or it may be bad, it doesn't matter, since the language is so flat and un-original that it would ruin any story. You wonder how anybody can write like this and get published. I kept on reading it only out of curiousity: could this really go on and on for 400 pages - and, lo and behold: it could, and I did, and I deserve a medal for my perseverance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tries too Hard to Be Romantic, 14 Sep 2011
By 
Kate Hopkins (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Memory Garden (Paperback)
I had such mixed feelings about this book! It could have been a really interesting story, but never quite got there. Like most of Hore's novels, it's in part contemporary, part historical. In the contemporary parts of the book, art historian and university lecturer Melanie (I think she's meant to be a teacher at Goldsmith's College, but it might be another South London college), depressed at a split from her boyfriend Jake (a name rarely met in real life but often chosen for rakish figures in romantic fiction) heads off to Cornwall to do some research on the Lamorna School of painters (a group of artists who came in between the 19th-century Newlyn and the 20th-century St Ives schools). At the Cornish manor house of her landlord Patrick, Mel becomes intrigued by a wonderful picture of a garden - soon, she is trying to find out more about the artist, who she realizes was influenced by the Lamorna School, and also help Patrick restore the gardens of his house. The story of the artist, a lady's maid called Pearl who worked at the house in the early 20th century and longed to become a painter, is told in parallel with Mel's.

This could have been a fascinating story about art and what it was like to be a woman artist in the early 20th century, compared to now. But after some fascinating early stuff about the Lamorna School (well researched by the author) Hore drifts off into a rather wishy-washy romance between Mel and Patrick, full of stilted rather sentimental dialogue. Patrick never quite works as a hero - he comes across rather as a Mr Darcy without the energy and the interesting bits! And his hesitating between Mel and his former girlfriend Bella (a positively horrible caricature) simply seems feeble. We get far too much of Mel and Patrick's romance and not enough about Mel's art research or indeed about Cornwall - the descriptions of Cornwall are pallid compared to those in novels by (to take two examples) Helen Dunmore or Jill Paton Walsh. The historical sections of the novel certainly had some interesting moments, even if characters did tend to speak in rather awkward 'I-am-in-a-historical-novel' mode at times (something Hore managed to avoid in her third novel for the most part), but again, too much time was taken up with Pearl's romance with spineless Charles and not enough with her artistic career. I would have also liked to hear more about Pearl's eventual marriage to the much older John Boase - that was potentially a really interesting love story that was never given enough space.

This was a novel brimming with potential interesting stories which tended to get resolved all too slickly and happily. Irina, the Bosnian immigrant, was a fascinating character, but I felt her eventual fate was just a quick way of wrapping up her bit of the plot and none too plausible. Mel's relationship with her father, and her mourning for her dead mother could have also made an interesting plot strand and up to a point did, but again tended to dissolve into cliche (as in the scene when Melanie's father embraces her, declaring 'My little Melanie, always my little Melanie', which had a touch of EastEnders speak about it). And in reality, particularly in this decade, I think Melanie would have found a move to Cornwall a bit scary financially!

However, despite all these criticisms, I still enjoyed the book, would read it again, and think Hore is a good and interesting writer. I just wish she'd make more use of her many promising ideas and wonderful grasp of history and stop trying to fit into the popular women's fiction market so much.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


66 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!!, 2 Mar 2008
By 
A. Mawson "J Austen" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Memory Garden (Paperback)
I read this book because i was getting bored with the usual girly reads and i'm so glad i did! This book is amazing. The descriptions are fantastic, not too long that you get bored but so accurate you can picture yourself driving through cornwall and digging the garden with them! I love cornwall so the combination of the area and the history behind the house is great. I loved the way the book goes between the past history of pearl, the hidden secrets behind their lives and the love story interlinking it all! The final chapter was enough to make me reach for the tissue box! A great read which leaves you wanting more and more! Read it cause you'll love it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shallow and boring, 30 Jan 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Memory Garden (Paperback)
This book is flimsy and weak. I usually get through a decent book in a few days, but I started this at Christmas 08 and I am still forcing my way through (no matter how bad I feel I have to justify the purchase by reading it!). The characters are unlikeable, the subplot given insifficient attention (to the point where upon mention of these more minor characters later in the book, I could not remember anything at all about them), and the storyline generally boring. I had no affinity with either the main character or others, and cannot understand why this book is so popular - generally I find that I would agree with a majority book review verdict.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Memory Garden. . ., 22 May 2009
A Kid's Review
This review is from: The Memory Garden (Paperback)
This was the authors 2nd book and by far better than her first but still plodded along too slow for my liking. I still had trouble feeling anything for the lead characters which, to me, make a book unputdownable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Gentle Escape, 18 July 2009
By 
Mrs. N. C. Johnson (North Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Memory Garden (Paperback)
I read this after the 'Forgotten Garden' by Kate Morton thinking it might be similar. It was, but it only reminded me how much better the 'Morton' version was! The plot was similar but Hore's characters were so much less significant and you cared less whether they ended uptogether or not!! A nice escape but really quite forgettable. Sorry Rachel.x
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Memory Garden
The Memory Garden by Rachel Hore (Paperback - 2 Aug 2012)
5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews